Recently, in the New York Times, selling a timeshare during the recession was discussed. It is "absolutely the worst time to sell," said Brian Rogers, owner of the Timeshare Users Group. "A few years ago you got 50 cents on the dollar. Now you're lucky if you get 10 cents on the dollar." So what is someone to do if you are need to sell your timeshare or get out of your timeshare? Here are nine tips about selling your timeshare in this economy, which some are calling a recession.
1. Do your homework. Just like selling your car or selling your home, it is important to get a realistic idea of what your timeshare is worth. If you can, find out what similar timeshares have sold for recently. Get an appraisal or several different opinions on the value. Search using your favorite search engine for the location. Look for other similar timeshares that are being offered for sale in the area.
2. Make sure you understand what you are selling. Before you begin to market your timeshare, make sure that you have everything in order. Know exactly what you're selling, the dates (if applicable), and other important details. Do you own a Right To Use (RTU) the timeshare for a specified number of years or do you have deeded ownership in the property? Find out whether or not your timeshare is part of a chain. If it's part of a chain, consider the fact that this is more desirable for buyers: you may able to price the timeshare a bit higher.
3. Gather all of the paperwork together and review it. This could include tax records, maintenance details, the payments you've made, and any other related paperwork. Gather photos of the property. If at all possible, find or take recent photos or even a video of the property, inside and out of the location.
4. Consider using an agency to sell the timeshare, but be careful. There are many internet-based and even "offline" companies/agencies that will list your timeshare for sale. Some charge you a fee to list your timeshare and then they will charge you a commission when it sells. Other companies will work on commission only. The fees and the commissions that they charge vary, and they're traditionally much higher than what a real estate company would charge to sell your home. Make sure that you talk to several different timeshare resale companies and agencies before you agree to or sign anything. And make sure that you review the company's history.
Search Google for the company name. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Check with their State Attorney General's office to see if there are any complaints. Read and review the timeshare laws for the location of your timeshare; in some States, it's illegal to charge an upfront fee. Ask what organizations the company is a member of, like the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). The ARDA expects its members to abide by their ethical guidelines when selling timeshares. Ask the company how they are going to market your timeshare.
5. Consider listing your timeshare at an auction. You might consider an auction web site such as eBay.com. Make sure you set a reserve price, though, if you are expecting to sell the timeshare for a certain amount of money.
6. Consider listing your timeshare on the classified ad web sites. There are several web sites where you can list your timeshare for sale. Craigslist, American Classifieds and Backpage.com are just a few. Consider even the local newspapers, as well. If your timeshare is in a warm location like Florida, consider advertising in a local newspaper in one of the northern States such as in Chicago, Minneapolis, Buffalo, or even New York City or Boston.
7. Consider an exchange. Certainly exchanging your timeshare for another is not the best answer when if you really want to sell your timeshare, but it might give you other options of you need to change your dates or even change your location.
8. Consider other owners. There may be other timeshare owners who have a timeshare before or after you that might want to increase their time. See if you can contact them and ask if they're interested in your timeshare.
9. Consider trading your timeshare for something of value. Trade your timeshare for land. You can trade the timeshare equity you own for actual real estate and land. Southstar Communities has recently started a limited time promotion for timeshare owners that want to sell their timeshares. You can trade the equity of your timeshare for land. You can use the equity from your vacation ownership towards the purchase of some of the most beautiful, spacious land available in the country. It does not matter if you own a Hilton® timeshare, Disney® timeshare, Marriott® or Ramada® timeshare, or even Bluegreen, RCI® or Worldmark® timeshare. You can trade your timeshare for land. See TimeshareforLand.com for more details about this unique opportunity.
Whether you decide to sell or trade your timeshare for land, you need to realize that just about every industry, including the resort industry, has taken a hit in this uncertain economy. Even when the economy was better, it was difficult to sell a timeshare for the amount that you originally paid; the best option may just be trading your timeshare for land.